King Bush

George Bush doesn’t believe America’s laws apply to him, he has declared himself above the law.

If you didn’t already know this by his illegal spying on American citizens, the Boston Globe has an article on another 749 laws that he doesn’t believe apply to him…

Interesting quote from Chris DeWolfe in the NYT

There was an article on April 23rd in the NYT about MySpace in which Chris DeWolfe made a classic mistake…

Mr. DeWolfe argues that MySpace won’t suffer that fate because, in just two years, it has already become so entrenched in so many lives. “People are truly invested in the site,” he said. “All their friends are on it. They spent months building their profiles. And so the cost of switching is too high. If we keep building the features they want, they will stay on the site.”

I’m pretty sure that Orkut and Friendster said the same thing, buddy.

I’m baaacckk…

I was on vacation… (did you think I was just a bad blogger?)

I have just returned from my month-long inspection of the continent (as they used to say) and will soon regale you with hard-won knowledge and sparking witticisms about my trip to France and Britain. (And yes, I know the continent refers to the mainland of Europe and not the UK, but we were in France for over 3/4 of the time, so I stick to my statement).

A couple things first:
While British Air may be superior to US airlines, it can still make you want to kill yourself by changing gates randomly at the last minute and then making you line up multiple times for the same flight (if you have to fly out of Gate 1b, Terminal 4 Heathrow, just give up and emigrate to the UK instead, you’ll be happier).

(the subject of photography in museums is something you can expect a long diatribe about in the near future as it was a continued annoyance and hindered our enjoyment of several famous galleries).

Ben Franklin kicking it on the current spying debate tip

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

I was reading Christopher Hitchens’ excellent essay in the April 2006 Vanity Fair in which he referenced this quote from BF and it made me wonder if this is engraved into any marble in DC anywhere. I’d love to see it engraved on the edifice of whatever building the NSA is in.

PalmTX mini-review

I’ve had a PalmTX now for a few weeks, here are some thoughts

I bought the TX so that we could access e-mail and the web on our trip without having to lug around a laptop. I also figured that it might be a nice way to organize some of our info for the trip and keep track of things.

So far it seems ok, I haven’t had too many problems. I can’t say I’m overjoyed though either. Considering that Palm is the main PDA solution for Mac users, you might think that they would provide better software for us. It seems to work ok, but it doesn’t sink with Entourage automatically, the included PDF software doesn’t work at all on the mac side, the cable doesn’t attach securely to the device, so it is constantly disconnecting with the slightest touch. This isn’t my first Palm, I had a Visor before, but I sync’d that to a PC and I can say that it was a bit better of an experience. Even with the included Palm Apps and the freeware Palm Apps I’ve found, I’m finding myself having to buy quite a bit of non-cheap software to make this device useable for my needs. The software that Palm does include mostly seems ok, the web browser is functional and displays most pages well enough (although the Unit Circle Rekkids page doesn’t display at all), but it won’t display a text file off a web server for some reason. The mail app seems pretty reasonable.

On the plus side, it is fairly tiny. I could easily see myself whipping this out on the street to check an address or a map, but I couldn’t imagine doing that with an OQO or even an Origami. I think I was hoping to use this as my single information device whereas Palm was thinking that this would be the device I would use in transit or in a single meeting.

It will be an interesting test to see if we have to resort to an internet cafe during our trip, it will be an even more interesting test to see if I use it at all after we get back from our trip. I can’t sync it to my corporate e-mail outside of work thanks to our VPN, I can’t connect to my corporate wireless ethernet thanks to our authentication mechanism, so it isn’t that useful for me as a business tool. I don’t spend that much time on public transit since I live close to work. I have a PSP to keep me entertained on flights and in airports. The note-taking, list keeping and basic calendar and contacts stuff is already supported by my cell phone… Maybe PDAs really are dead…

Way to shore up the low approval ratings


So, GWB comes out and basically says “Iran, Syria, Korea, you’re next.” That is sure gonna make friends for us in the Middle East, moron. Nope, not gonna help terrorist recruiting at all, you projecting America your personal bully squad to make other countries do what you want. Mr. President, you are playing a dangerous game of chicken with the lives of the American people in the balance. I think it is time you get over your tough guy fantasy and try to come up with a better plan that maybe involves less military threats and more international cooperation. Oh wait, thats right, you’ve completely isolated us with your bullying ways. Well done, the next 4 presidents will be left cleaning up your mess and the non-wealthy Americans will see their quality of life stagnate as the damage you’ve done is fixed.

I’m still alive

and I’m still here

I just haven’t had anything to say for a bit, or rather, anything I’d like to blog about. We’re getting ready for our big excursion to the continent as they say, and that has been keeping me busy.

I’m generally disappointed with the Michelin travel guides for Europe, even penny-pinching Rick Steve’s guides are a lot more useful. And the Frommer’s is the best. I think we’ll be carrying those with us.

Hey U of I alumni! Thanks for liking my blog name and motto. It makes this native son of Chicago proud, although I went to school somewhere else…

Last Olympics thoughts

and they aren’t positive ones…

Dear NBC, please don’t take a lack of ratings on the Olympics to mean there is a lack of interest. Instead, take them as a criticism of your crappy coverage (again). Maybe you could spend less time doing puff pieces about the athletes and more time showing the actual events. Also, instead of breaking up the events across an evening, maybe you could have the whole event followed by another whole event, so we don’t have to watch 20 minutes of skeleton to get book-ended snow-boarding coverage. Take a lesson from the CBC, they do it much better for both Winter and Summer games which is why we mostly watched them instead of you.

Dear Canada, Avril Lavigne? Really? Whose idea was that? I mean, she is better looking than most of your music exports, but Sum41 or the Bare-Naked Ladies are much prouder Canadians and they are also much better musicians. Also, I mean, the ceremonies are supposed to be full of art-wank moments, but I have no idea what you guys were going for. I know having the Cirque Du Soleil guys do the event would have been expensive, but they would have done a much better job for the 3 billion people judging your country.

Dear Olympic Committee, nothing like capping the Olympic games where men and women compete on the global stage as equals by having Ricky Martin trot out dancers dressed like hookers caressing him and each other. Don’t wait too long to remind those female athletes that they really are just objects after all. Also, was having him a budget cutting move or is he much popular in Europe than he is in the US these days?